Living in Illinois, I typically don’t throw stones at other states for the misfires of their politicians. After all, serving as Governor in Illinois is one of the most likely positions to insure some quality time behind bars. However, the Chris Christie bridge scandal offers a few too many leadership and management lessons to pass up without a few observations. (I’ve got no candidate or party in this fight…just interested in the lessons we can draw upon here. )
At Least 7 Leadership and Management Lessons from the Bridge Scandal:
1. If you’re in charge, you are responsible. End of story.
2. “I didn’t know” just sounds weak in any circumstances. Even if it’s true.
3. Taking accountability by firing your Chief of Staff and then running the bus over her repeatedly in the national press doesn’t feel like taking accountability.
4. Every team takes cues on standards of behavior from the boss. You set the values, and apparently, it was deemed acceptable behavior to use political power to punish even minor enemies while putting the interests and even lives of your customers in danger.
5. Your reputation as an effective, hardline manager is shot right in the rear as soon as you have to spend hours back-pedaling on how people you trusted lied to you and you didn’t know.
6. As a manager, if you’re too stupid to select people who won’t put your entire career at risk in the name of some misguided show of force, you deserve all the grief you get.
7. What type of an employee is deluded into thinking he/she can operate with impunity, particularly when their boss is an elected official and a potential presidential candidate? See also the points on behaviors, talent selection, management and accountability.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
I’ll end where I started. If you are in charge, you are responsible. End of story.